Adams urges Orange Order to engage in real dialogue
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD today described the violence of recent days as “naked sectarian aggression.”
Teachta Adams was speaking in Leaders Questions in the Dáil during which he asked the Taoiseach to join with him in calling for an “end to the protests by the orange order; in appealing for calm and in urging the Order to enter into a real dialogue on the issue of contentious parades with those host communities through which they wish to march.”
Speaking afterward the Sinn Féin President welcomed the Taoiseach’s support for an end to the protests, for calm and for dialogue between the Loyal Orders and host communities.
Gerry Adams said:
“Monday night was the 4th night of street violence in the north. Police officers have been attacked by rioters, some still wearing their orange regalia, and wielding ceremonial swords, bricks, bottles and blast bombs. Many police officers have been injured.
“Nationalist homes in the Short Strand have been attacked by petrol bombs and blast bombs. Violence from any quarter must be deplored and condemned. And what we are witnessing on the streets of Belfast at this time is naked aggressive sectarianism.
“The Orange leadership, which called for protests, has failed to provide the leadership necessary to prevent violence. On the contrary it seeks to blame everyone else for the bad decisions it has taken.
“I do not believe that the scenes we are witnessing reflect the views of the vast majority of members of the loyal orders or of citizens in the north.
“I welcome the involvement of Richard Haas as part of an effort to address the parades and flags issue. However, solutions will only be found through a dialogue involving the Orders and the residents of nationalist communities through which they want to march. This is evident in the experience of Derry and other areas.
“The Loyal Orders and Orangeism are a part of who we are as a nation. Irish republicans accept the right of the Orders to parade and to promote their sense of identity. But this has to be on the basis of equality and tolerance. Sectarianism and bigotry or incitement to hatred cannot be tolerated.”